Medical Economics

Magazine has information and advice for physicians on how to manage their practices and current healthcare landscape.

Articles from Vol. 87, No. 24, December 17

Aging Population Changes Retirement Planning
This column started with a reader of something I wrote earlier asking, "Why would you include a question about parents on a form designed to collect information to begin retirement planning? Aren't most parents gone by the time someone retires?"Actually,...
A Real Reminder
WHEN YOU'RE NEAR BURNOUT, REMEMBER A SPECIAL PATIENTBurnout threatens sometimes when the frank reality of what you have to do overtakes the feeling of altruism that led you to do it in the first place.When we sign up to be good doctors, we aim to help...
Bridging THE GAP
ELECTRONIC HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGES COULD ELIMINATE THE SILOS OF INFORMATION AND IMPROVE CAREA patient shows up at the emergency room unconscious and unable to give a history. Another patient arrives at his primary care physician's office 3 days...
Coding: For a Rectal Exam at an Office Visit
Q: What are the rules for coding a rectal exam performed at an office visit when billed with an evaluation/ management (E/M) code?A: Your question did not indicate which specific method was used for the rectal exam of the patient, so I will presume it...
Consider Several Points in Settlement Decisions
To settle or not to settle? Like Hamlet's dilemma, this decision is a tough one. You may not wish to pay money if no liability exists, but the time a trial would take, the risk of a big judgment against you, effects on your insurance policy and rates,...
Educating Patients Helps Us Help Them
Patient education always has been a priority in my office. I think it is an essential part of practice, and I even start the doctor-patient relationship by stressing it. In my "Welcome to the Practice" brochure, I invite people to ask for information...
Fraud 101
What you didn't learn in medical schoolAPPROPRIATE CHECKS AND BALANCES WILL PROTECT YOU, YOUR EMPLOYEES, AND YOUR PATIENTS FROM FINANCIAL LOSSSeveral months ago, I received a phone call from my old college roommate, Robert (I have changed the names used...
Grandparent Gifting for College Education
WITH INCOMES STAGNANT AND COSTS RISING, EVEN DOCTORS CAN USE HELP FROM RELATIVES TO PAY FOR EXPENSESAmericans have always wanted each generation to be better off than the last, so it's no wonder that many grandparents want to help with their grandchildren's...
Latest Research
A summary of current clinical articles from that pile on your desk* Use of Web-based error reporting system feasibleAnn Fam Med. 2010;8:517-525. [November/December 2010]Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic developed the Medication Error and Adverse Drug...
Making Sense-AND CENTS
EDUCATED PATIENTS ARE MORE ADHERENT AND SATISFIED, HELPING YOU MEET YOUR BOTTOM LINEIt's natural for people to worry about that which they do not understand. We all bear witness to unnecessary anxiety in our patient populations on a daily basis. "I'm...
Money Management Q&A
Social Security spousal benefitsQ: I am recently divorced after 25 years of marriage, and my ex-wife is collecting a Social Security spousal benefit If I marry again, will that affect my new wife's eligibility to collect benefits?A: Your ex-wife can...
One Patient at a Time
HOWTOTAILOR PATIENT EDUCATION TO LEARNING STYLE, PROPENSITY FOR TECHNOLOGY, AND MORE FOR OPTIMAL RESULTSPhysician-patient encounters are full of teachable moments. But time constraints and patient resistance exist, plus the fact that medical schools...
Practice Management Q&A
Cash flow-based financingQ: need financing to expand my practice, but I don't want to risk my personal assets. Is there anything available for me?A: Cash flow-based financing is based on the historical and/ or projected performance of a practice. While...
Prescribing HOPE
EMPATHY, OPEN COMMUNICATION SHOULD BE IN YOUR DOCTOR'S BAG WHEN TREATING SERIOUSLY ILL PATIENTSHow would you react if your doctor tells you that you have 6 months to live? An impending death. Shock, depression, extreme anxiety, fear, despondency, and,...
Taking the Job Home with You
A LITTLE APPRECIATION GOES A LONG WAY WHEN YOU'RE DRAINED'I need you to do me a favor," my nurse asked me at the end of our day on Friday."Sure," I answered, "What do you want?" "Please have a better week next week," she said with a pained expression....
Who Is a Woman Physician?
PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE SINCE THE FOUNDING OFTHE AMERICAN MEDICAL WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION, BUT CHALLENGES REMAINHistorian Ellen More, PhD, notes that the American Medical Women's Association's (AMWA's) "history charts the effort to create a workable model...
Your Practice's Marketing Toolkit
HOW TO SYNCHRONIZE STRONG MARKETING AND EFFICIENT OPERATIONS TO SET YOUR PRACTICE APARTHow can my small group practice compete with the larger practices and the health system-owned practices?How do I put together a marketing plan that gets long-term...